stemma della regione
      Regione Piemonte
Accedi ai servizi
Utenti con dislessia
logo del comune
Comune di Scalenghe
Stai navigando in : Territorio > Architectural Heritage
Architectural Heritage
Church of Saint Caterina

Architectural descriptions

The church is oriented with an entrance to the west and an apse to the east, has a longitudinal plan and has three naves, of which the central one is the highest, separated by two colonnades. All the internal bays are covered by cross vaults, set on the octagonal pillars of the central nave and on the circular semi-columns of the side naves. The facade is salient, partly in exposed brick and partly painted in a predominantly yellow colour. There is a small bell gable, and the roof has a wooden structure and a mantle in roof tiles.
The pictorial decoration is uniform and characterized by a striped geometric motif of monochrome backgrounds that develops along the walls of the lateral naves and the pillars that separate the central nave. The vaults have a decorative motif inspired by a starry sky, yellow on a blue background, while the ribs are characterized by a repetitive floral decoration performed with masks, framed with a band that incorporates the pattern and colors of the walls.

The same striped decoration is present on the arches on which the vaults are set. The apse has a ribbed vault divided into five segments decorated with geometric motifs, while the ribs have the same floral motifs as the side naves. The whole pictorial mantle refers to a nineteenth-century neo-Gothic intervention.
Inside the church, in addition to the main altar, there are eight altars distributed along the side naves, among which we remember in particular: 

  • The Altar of the Blessed Rosary, made in brick with a paved and raised floor of Barge stone, closed by a marble balustrade. It has a niche which hosts the statue of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, surrounded by painted wooden tiles/ panels representing the Mysteries, the whole included between stucco columns with the status of Saint Domenico and Saint Rose at the sides; 
  • The Altar of the Holy Bodies or of Relics, made in wood, with two-column architecture in the middle of which there is a niche containing the relics, placed on two floors and c


Civic Tower

Architectural descriptions

Erected in elevation on the ancient gateway to the walls of the original village. This door, presumably already existing in medieval times, currently has a round arch (in modification of the pre-existing pointed arch). There is no certainty about the exact date of the construction / raising, it is assumed at the end of the 19th-early 20th century: the plan of the tower is quadrangular, reinforced by masonry shoes on the ground floor, the structure is in masonry and the roof is in four-pitched wood, with roof tiles.

Above the door, the tower is horizontally divided into three levels, of which: 
the first has on the west side the municipal emblem with the motto “Super Sider Regnat”, on the east side a mullioned opening separated by small columns with circular section, on the north side a door, recently restored and originally used as access to the adjacent building, now demolished;

the second has triple-arches windows on the east and west sides and mullioned windows on the north and south sides, which are also separated by small columns with circular section; the third level has a clock with Roman numbers / numerals on each facade. The levels are separated from each other by a decorated string course (the ground and the first) and a jutting out masonry cornice (the first and the second). Crowning the last is a frieze with arches. The building, restored in 2015, has the particularity of being separated from the church, so it is to be considered a civic tower and not a bell tower, being disconnected from the church of Santa Caterina, both historically and physically.

Historical background and worship 
One of the peculiar characteristics of the Scalenghe Community is the presence of a Civic Tower, having the function of bell tower and clock tower, located in an independent position and detached from the nearby Parish Church of S. Caterina.
This tower is also owned by the community of the village and is not under the responsibility of the parish, a condition that all the towns in the neighbouring territory share / a condition that instead unites all the villages in the neighbouring territory
This absolute peculiarity must be sought in the history of the building, which, as well as its aforementioned characteristics, is ancient and interesting: although it is not possible to find exact data on its primary construction or establish a precise date, we are in front of the door that regulated and allowed access to the enclosed medieval hamlet / borgo of the town.
In its primitive conformation, Scalenghe too, like the neighboring villages, consisted of a central nucleus fortified by surrounding walls and a castle owned by the nobility, the family of the Conti Folgore di Piossasco, lords of the places of Piossasco, Volvera, Castagnole and Bardassano.
Certainly  / Obviously we should not think of the fairytale castle typical of the collective imagination, with towers and crenellated walls, but more simply of a complex formed by contiguous buildings and solid walls placed around a central open space, located on a place a few meters high compared to the surrounding area, protected by moats, which could be accessed by a few closed and defensible doors, whose original pentagonal conformation is still visible today from an aerial view of the concentric or inferred from the cadastral maps.
Here, therefore, is the first function of our civic tower: the lowest part of the building including the fundamental base for a height of about thirteen meters was an access door to the castle village, with a hypothetical tower above with a control function, attributable to the 16th century, based on the wall conformation visible from the inside through the plaster gaps examined by the architect Luigi Umberto Casetta, in charge in 2013 of the restoration works and stratigraphic samples carried out in 2012 by Chiara Bettinzoli.
In a report on the state of the parish of Scalenghe drawn up in 1770 by the then Pievano Paolo Giuseppe Antonio Calvo, the bell tower of the Church of S. Caterina, or the tower, is described with some interesting information: “The bell tower of the parish church of Santa Caterina is a stone's throw away from that church; it is placed above an ancient door of the place; it is moderately high but does not have the appearance of a bell tower, consisting of a few rustic small pillars raised above the said door and covered with a simple roof; however, it has some windows in the walls, and forms two floors; it has a door with key but it is almost always open and therefore some inconvenience has already occurred. There are four bells, blessed, as I believe, but I do noy know by whom or when. The maintenance of the ropes and bells is the responsibility of the Community without any dispute. There is a bell ringer in charge of ringing them; Avemaria is rung three times a day on feasts and weekdays; there is the custom of playing them every Friday at nine. The bells are rung for the Parochial Mass and for most of the lower Masses, for the Catechism, Doctrines, Vespers and other public religious functions; it is played when the Most Holy Viaticum is brought to the sick and for adults who have passed to the other life and sometimes also for children and on the occasion of all the burials of this part of the village and in case of calamity; it is not played for profane uses, except to gather the Community Council or in the cases of Rojde, or of necessity as above. The bells are in good condition. So far there has never been a dispute either for the bells or for the bell tower, as far as I know. The salary to the bell ringer is given partly by the Priest and partly by the Community”.


Church of Saint Bernardino

Architectural descriptions 
The building has a longitudinal plan with an entrance to the south and an apse to the north. From a stylistic point of view, the church is Baroque, a "relative" of Santa Maria Assunta, consisting of a single nave, with the hall that widens in the central area. The façade has a convex-concave-convex shape and is divided vertically into three fields with giant pilasters on the sides and the central door atop the rectangular window.
It is interesting to observe the side of the building where at about six meters high, a clear break in the colour and type of the bricks is noticeable / visible. It is likely that the construction was interrupted for some reason and then resumed later.
The internal flooring is in stone, the presbytery is very deep and ends in a semi-circular choir. At the corners of the central hall there are four pilasters on which as many arches rest to form a square to support the semi-circular canopy. The vault of the presbytery is a barrel-vaulted and the choir is covered with a wedged basin, from where the windows open. All the round arches are raised above the wall level.

Historical background and worship 
The construction of the current church dates to the year 1777, in which the then parish priest Paolo Giuseppe Antonio Calvo, with the authorization and delegation of the Archbishop of Turin dated 22 May 1777, on 6th July blessed and laid the first fundamental stone of new building, desired and built at the expense of the Confraternity of the Saint Cross under the title of S. Bernardino.

The devotion to this saint in the town of Scalenghe, however, is of much more remote origin, so much so that Don Calvo himself in an earlier report dated 1770 in listing the churches in the village mentions a "Church or Oratorio de Disciplined under the title of the Holy Cross, also called of Saint Bernardino, not consecrated”, a detail suggests the existence of a previous building of a more ancient matrix, of which unfortunately no detailed descriptions are given, except" ... that is located in little distance from the centre to the west of the same, which however is forbidden, without Sacred Images, without altar and without floor ".

Even older is the origin of the confraternity itself, which the Theologian Giacomo Aragni of Scarnafigi, in a subsequent report of 1828 in describing the church as an "oratory of the brothers and sisters called Disciplinati “Disciplined” under the banner of the Holy Cross and aggregated to the Venerable Arci-confraternita of the Confalone of the Holy Cross in Rome”, presumed to date back to the year 1603 according to popular tradition; however, in a pamphlet kept at the church itself and containing the plenary indulgences granted to the confraternity, printed on March 31, 1902, the establishment of the Society of the Disciplined of Saint Cross  under the title of S. Bernardino of Scalenghe is attributed to a papal bull of Julius II of 15 June 1504, attached to the Confraternity of Confalone in Rome with licenses of 29 October 1609.

The members observed specific rules, already described by Don Calvo: "The brothers wear the white sack, with a similar hood and cord, the sisters the raw cloth sack with a similar veil on their heads". The confraternity was run by a Prior with annual office and five elected members who took care of the autonomous management of the Church, of alms and its income, which consisted of ownership of "... assets, a small house, meadows, field" which in the 1770 amounted to £ 83.

In the origins, two main festivity were celebrated: The Invention and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, with procession rite of the Blessed Sacrament and exhibition and procession of the relic of the Holy Wood preserved there. There were also numerous religious festivities of precept and relative processions to which members had the obligation to participate throughout the year as well as attending the most important rites at the Parish Church of S. Caterina and the novenas of the Chapel of the Madonna of Marene (called “of the field”) and at the nearby Chapel of S. Firmino in Cercenasco. A particular function performed by the Church was that of laying for the dead waiting for burial, who were brought there privately waiting to be taken in procession to the parish priest for the funeral office at the parish church: this practice was mainly reserved for deceased with a residence in the hamlets and outside the downtown, for the removal of which it was necessary to travel along roads made impracticable for the funeral procession by mud and bad weather for several months a year.

Until the sixties of the second post-war period, St. Bernardino was formally used, albeit in a changed and very reduced form, for this function of laying the deaths during the funeral processions coming from the hamlets and according to tradition and polar devotion the Saint was invoked for the protection of the country from hail stones until the early eighties, with the presence of devoted volunteers who flocked to ring the bell when the summer storms arrived. In the early 2000s, it lost its primary functions, by the time in fact unused and in conditions of neglect, the Church was deconsecrated and reconverted as a multipurpose hall.


Chapel of the Medows

Architectural descriptions 
The chapel is oriented with the main façade to the south and the apse to the north, and consists of two distinct masonry buildings, presumably built in different periods: the oldest portion with a square plan was probably built in 1681 (date printed on the flooring of the entrance), the apsidal portion is dated 1798 (date stamped on the north side).

The facade is painted, predominantly in a rose-coloured, has an arched tympanum with underlying entablature, two pilasters and an elliptical window with metal railing. The simple portal has two lateral pilasters that support a semicircular decoration that contains an inscription that is unfortunately no longer interpretable. On the sides of the door there are two rectangular windows with metal railings, one on each side. The plinth is in stone. The roof has different heights, relative to the two buildings, and is entirely two-pitched, with a wooden structure and a lose layer.

Internally the structure has a single room, has a Barge stone flooring and a frescoes ribbed vault with four lateral nails that host windows (two in the front body of the building and two in the rear), while the vault of the apse is divided into three cloves. The vaults have decorations that were presumably made in the twentieth century. On the counter-façade there is a wooden stage, equipped with a high parapet decorated with musical motifs, accessible from a wooden staircase. On the altarpiece there is a piece by the local painter Baretta.

Historical background and worship 
What we know today as the Chapel of the Madonna of the Meadows was once called the Marene Chapel, from the name traditionally given to the rural region in which it is located. Unfortunately, there is no reliable data on the exact year of its foundation and construction, but it is reasonable to assume that it is a period included in the first half of the 18th century. The chapel is mentioned in the report written in 1770 by the then parish priest Paolo Giuseppe Antonio Calvo who in listing the four churches, fifteen country chapels and the private oratory then present in the Scalenghe area mentions "The Chapel of the Marene, or of the Madonna of the Meadows under the title of Epiphany, located in the region of the Marene, proper to the Community, and has included the hermit's room ", from which we can learn the first two news: the characteristic of public availability of the chapel, as we would say today, or the absence of a noble patronage or a membership benefit, characteristics very common at the time, and the presence of a hermit.

In the same document, Don Calvo specifies in another passage that the administration of the chapel is not entrusted to him but that "The Chapel of the Madonna of Marene is administered by the parish priest Giovanni Mattà Bonetti who takes into account the alms of the same and uses them for the decorum/decoration of the Parish Church of S. Caterina and gives its accounts every year”.

Particular and unusual is the presence of a hermit in a small country town, which is why Don Calvo himself dedicates a special paragraph to the event in his report: "There is only one Hermit in this area, and he has his room joined with the Country Chapel of the Madonna of the Meadows, that is of the Marene; intended to serve both parish churches; At present it is Cristoforo Quffinato of this place; he has a black and almost clerical habit, that is, neither cassock, nor short, closed in front, and with narrow Filipino sleeves; and without a cleric collar.

It is authorised by the His Excellences and Reverend Archbishop; not being attached to any Religious Order, it has no other rules to observe than the Orders of the Archbishop and live as a good Christian; Midnightly he fulfills his duty by taking care of the lamp of the SS. Sacrament of the Church of Scalenghe, sweeping both churches from time to time, decorating them on festive occasions, and sometimes removing the dust from the altars; of the remainder, as far as It seems / I think so far, is of good morals; he does not exercise any other profession, except to serve the two Parish Churches and the said chapel and begging for food; he was not being given the entire custody of the furnishings and vases of the Churches, but only the custody of the Marene Chapel and its furniture; however he must also attend to the custody of the Sacristy of Santa Caterina under the direction of the Vice parish priest of this Church; he has never served in another parish, having dressed the gown of a hermit in this church in the time of my predecessor, never having left it: I believe he was appointed by the parish priest and by the community (municipality); he has no income other than a small garden, and some lawn tables, consistent with the aforesaid chapel; he goes daily to the collection of bread and every year to that of wine, without ever having been called to this. From time to time the Community gives him something for charity, (but nothing fixed), for clothing, for which he also makes up for it with the same fund of the aforementioned Chapel, so he goes every year to the collection "(of the wheat).

In a document written in 1791 by the parish priest / citizens of Pieve Agostino Battaglia, called "Note of the chapels in Scalenghe", we find confirmation of the good zeal of the hermit and the parish priest Bonetti in managing and taking care of the chapel, as unlike many others described in bad state of conservation or lack of ritual vestments and of the necessary to officiate masses worthily, this is cited as "La Capela della Madona known as the well-stocked Marene".

In the subsequent report on the state of the parish written in 1828 by the parish priest/ citizen of Pieve Theologian Giacomo Aragni of Scarnafigi there are more detailed indications of its interior: "The chapel located in the middle of the meadows at noon on the facade in the region known as the Marene, half a mile from the place of Scalenghe under the title of the Epiphany, vaguely adorned in the ceiling, 

with squares, paved with Barge marble with two paintings for ornament, orchestra, and small choir has the altar made in the shape of a big pillar, where to the ancient erased painting on the wall 
was substituted a painting representing the Holy Mary who presents the child to the three Wised Men, to be adored, composed he goes of two steps with the table entirely of Freemasonry, and for the sake of the ornaments, they are kept in a wardrobe affixed to wall at the right of the “Sacta Sanctorum” in relation to the necessary furnishings ... they are provided by the sacristy every time there is a celebration owing to the devotion of the faithful of the Sacrifices to the prefate, in short, everything is taken care of by those who zealously preside over it as treasurer ”.

For what concerns the exercise of worship at the Chapel, there are numerous passages in the aforementioned reports in which there are references to processions, both from the Church of Pieve and from that of Scalenghe, and celebrations of masses in honor of the Madonna, through intercession, protection and blessing of the countryside and crops already in the eighteenth century.

With the decreasing, within the passing of the years, of the regular celebration of functions in all the rural chapels also in the Chapel of the Madonna of the Meadows, masses are now celebrated only during the Marian month of May, with a last particular memory not so ancient but beloved to the people of Scalenghe: besides to the main bells of the bell tower to announce the anniversary of the Mass to the Madonna of the Meadows it used to be added until a few years ago the delicate voice of the bell of the Church of S. Caterina.

Since the seventies of the twentieth century, the care of the chapel has been entrusted, and still is, to the precious work of Scalenghese associations and volunteers.


Church of Saint'Anna

Architectural descriptions
The masonry structure is oriented with an entrance to the north, a facade with a triangular tympanum, a triangular bell tower with a bell, the roof has a wooden structure and a mantle in tiles. The portal is centered on the facade, with pilasters and two rectangular side windows with metal railings, and above it a painting depicting Saint Anne.

Internally the church has a single room, with ribbed vaults and nails with wooden windows, there is a Via Crucis from the early 1900s in Bakelite. On the vaults there are stuccos representing the Holy Spirit, depicted with a dove, and a shell on the apse vault. There are remains of a sundial on the rear apse facade. Inside, there are two statues of Saint Anna and Saint Joseph. Ex-voto

Historical background and worship 
The primary construction of a chapel in the hamlet of Bicocca in the vicinity of an ancient farmhouse owned by a wealthy family is presumably datable between the middle and the end of the seventeenth century, even if at the moment no historical data have been found to prove / demonstrate the exact year.

The first documentary mentioning the Chapel of S. Anne is found in the list of rural chapels contained in the 1770 report on the state of the parish of Pievano Paolo Giuseppe Antonio Calvo, where it is however only identified in the “Bicocca region near the Cascina of Mr. Knight Diego Manassero ”.

The hypothesis of an earlier presence is, however, justified by documents that refer to its reconstruction contained in a file dated only two years later: in 1772 the two Massari, rectors of the chapel, Tomaso Berta and Alessandro Negro reported its rebuilding to the Monsignor by "details of the canton", since "in several parts it threatened ruin" and they addressed their formal plea in order that the chapel would be blessed as soon as possible so that they could celebrate mass, becoming the spokesperson for an uneasiness in the small community that complained the distance from the parish "of more than a mile". The then archbishop of Turin Francesco Lucerna Rorengo of Rorà promptly welcomed the plea of ​​his faithful and with a letter dated 20 August 1772 authorized the blessing of the chapel according to the "rite of the Holy Roman Church" by the priest, Pievano Don Calvo, that on August 30th restored its ordinary use for celebrations.

However, the problems of management and maintenance were far from being completely resolved, in a document written up in the year 1791 by Pievano Agostino Battaglia, called "Note of the chapels in Scalenghe", it is cited as "of Mr Cerrutti" and in bad state of maintenance, literally: "The Chapel of Biccocca lacks the material of the broken attic, and stern to be repaired by the master Monsù Cerrutti or by particulars".

In the following century, the zeal of the local inhabitants finally seemed to have paid off, given that in a report by the Pievano Theologian Giacomo Aragni of Scarnafigi written in the year 1828 it reads: “the chapel of S. Anne located in the Bicocca region towards the midnight in the façade under the aforementioned title form Canton, from which situation of three or four trebuchets the house of Mr. Chaplain is situated, which all feasts unless legitimate impediment, and also on weekdays celebrates Mass for the benefit of the Canton, teaches the catechism, confesses, and administers the most holy Viaticum, where necessary, thus co-assisting the parish when his health permits; there the Via Crucis was regularly erected by a certain Father Celestino of the minor observants; this must be equipped with everything necessary, and can be found both in the altar and in the ornaments, and furnishings in good condition, and with decency due to the diligence of the Massari ". From this description we also learn the singular permanent presence of an officiating chaplain in the small village still in the early nineteenth century.

The last noteworthy historical citation concerning S. Anne is found in the Liber Cronicus written by the provost Don Giovanni Borsero in 1942, which refers to a restoration of the bell tower and the facade of the chapel, the laying of a new concrete floor and a Via Crucis of plastic material.
A particular historically documented feature of this chapel/ A particular feature of this chapel, historically documented is the entrusting of its care and management to two local farmers, mentioned in the reports of the parish priests and documented by reports kept in the parish archives dating back to the end of the eighteenth century. These rectors / chancellors were in charge of providing for the maintenance of all the needs of the chaplaincy through the grain collections, or the collection of offerings from the local community of the faithful who, being almost entirely composed of peasant families, paid them not with money but with / in wheat.

This tradition was carried on until the fifties of the twentieth century, in which in memory of our grandparents the sharecroppers went around to each farm / made the tour of the farms around the hamlet with horse and cart, and eventually with the first tractors, for the collection of sacks of grain offered, which were kept inside the chapel itself during the novena masses celebrated in honor of St. Anna in the month of July, in order to collect the last offerings of the faithful, and then be sold full at the end of the recurring celebrations in the third week of July when the patron saint is venerated on the 26th.
Since the seventies the chapel has been cared for / taken care  by four rectors / chancellors, two women and two men, that, albeit with various alternations and in different and more updated forms, still to this day continue their work of maintaining this ancient combination of history, worship and popular traditions.


Former Hospital of Pieve

Historical background and worship 

It was born by the will and testamentary bequest of the parish priest Agostino Battaglia on March 30, 1752 and it will be Don Giuseppe Sandri who instituted the Regulations issued on September 26, 1788 with Regie Patenti under the reign of Vittorio Amedeo lll. "The Hospital of the poor sick", as the Regulations state, intended to "... serve only for the poor sick with serious illness who will originate in the Place and Parish ... of course, however, that it should be the case that some poor stranger was overwhelmed by a serious illness, or by some accident in said place and parish be admitted… ”. For wealthy people and residents of other municipalities, the hospitalization was subject to a fee.
The hospital modernized and expanded thanks to the benefactors Don Clemente Galleano pievano, Hon. lawyer Ignazio Marsengo Bastia and others, will be inaugurated again on 18 October 1908.
In the mid-60s of the last century it will cease its activity to later become the seat of the municipal middle school. For two centuries the hospital has fulfilled its task in this rural village together with other social works of which the village was fruitful, such as the Infantile Kindergarten and other Pious Works (Rasura, educated Mendicity) which with two houses housed the poor elderly of the country.


Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption

Architectural descriptions
The building, with a longitudinal plan and oriented with entrance to the south and apse to the north, is the result of two distinct interventions: the first involved the construction of the original structure, the second the extension towards the south of the same / this structure.

The original construction, to be traced back to the then famous architect Planteri, in Baroque style, consists of a single nave with four chapels identified on the sides, two on each side positioned between the buttresses, with a simple rectangular plan.
The entire external part of the church and the adjoined bell tower were made of exposed brick, with a roof structure in wood and a mantle in tiles (central nave) or in “lose” stones (side chapels). The façade is divided into three parts and characterized by the alternating concavity / convexity typical of the style of the time, set aside from the body of the building and with the presence of two half pilasters / buttress originating from a high plinth.

The expansion towards the South instead saw the construction of two additional chapels, one on each side, adding to the four already existing equally divided on each side, and the rebuilding of the façade as conceived by Planteri two centuries earlier and thus maintaining the Baroque style, in perfect harmony with the existing structure.

Internally the flooring is made of stone, the vault above the nave is of the barrel type, supported by round / equilateral arches set on a vertical wall. The decoration of the church was carried out in the 1920s, immediately after the expansion, and recalls motifs typical of the Piedmontese Baroque. Two medallions decorate the dome of the entrance and the choir. The first depicts Saint Cecilia playing the organ, the second shows the Emmaus Supper.

A couplet in Latin is painted along the frieze of the entablature, which says: “Lauda Sion Salvatorem, Lauda Ducem et pastorem, In imnis et canticis, quantum potes tantum aude, Quia major omni laude, nec laudare sufficis, Sumunt boni sumut mali, sorte tamen inaequali, vitae vel interitus”
Zion praise the Saviour, your guide, your Shepherd with hymns and songs. Engage all your fervour he surpasses all praise, there is not song that is worthy. The good go, the wicked go, but different is the fate, life, or death causes. 

Unfortunately, the decoration, which is now over ninety years old, begins to show significant signs of decay and in some spots, it has almost disappeared, revealing the antique underlying decoration.

Today the church retains an original main altar in marble, with the urn-shaped tabernacle surmounted by the ciborium supported by six red marble columns, and on the sides six gilded candlesticks.

The altar is dated 1769, and there are also a series of minor altars and chapels of the Immaculate Conception, of Saint Joseph, of the Sacred Heart, of the Crucifix and of Saint Anne, and a series of paintings by the eighteenth-century painters Alessandro Trono and Mattia Franceschini, particularly active in the lower Pinerolese areas.

In the choir, above the altar, there is a large oval painting with a golden frame depicting "The Assumption of the Virgin Mary", attributed to Alessandro Trono. While hanging from the ceiling, with a lifting winch, located in the attic, there is a triumphal crown in gilded wood, which serves as a canopy.


   Il Territorio
Comune di Scalenghe - Via Umberto I, 1 - 10060 Scalenghe (TO)
  Tel: 011.9861721   Codice Fiscale: 85003410017   Partita IVA: 02920980014
  P.E.C.:   Email: